Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

WedgeWatch

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 12, 2007

With Coalition poll hopes for The Narrowing becoming all a little aspirational these days, with key heartland seats like Ryan in deep deep trouble, with the regions looking rather ill for the Coalition vote and some of the mortage belt seats positively fuming about the rate rise – what to do for a government 10 points behind and 12 days to go?

Do they choose a demographic and go for it to minimise the losses but retain a decent capability as an opposition, do they continue with the scatter gun approach that so far hasn’t hit a thing?

Of do they turn nasty and hope to scare the bejesus out of the electorate and accept the risk of getting royally shafted on Election Day if it backfires.

With Howard about to start the Liberal Party campaign launch, it must be time for Wedge Watch.

If you see a wedge, an attempted wedge or anything remotely wedgish between now and the election, this is the place to stick it.

Will we see a private school funding wedge, a childcare trap, a false-economy demand boosting housing affordability wedge or maybe a good old fashioned dog-whistle?

The closer E day gets, the more likely the wedge will make an appearance.

120 Responses to “WedgeWatch”

  1. Michael said

    It’s lunchtime and I am being particularly active today:

    Based on previous elections, what kind of impact does a party’s “launch” have on the polls usually?

  2. Jess said

    While Howard hasn’t announced it yet – the media have already been leaked info about the education expenses tax rebate – not much of a wedge but it will mean that Labor will have to metoo or do something more radical… I’m sure that’s not all they’ve got but its a start… and will give them some good media coverage for a few days but will it be enough?

  3. Aram said

    What about the ‘gay’ wedge?
    Surely that’s going to have be trotted out sometime..

  4. Kate Ellis for PM said

    This could be a wedge issue- but after the Haneef fiasco no body is going to buy it (I hope). It could go like this “We will decide who is a terrorist and the circumstances under which a suspect is deemed a terrorist”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/12/2087970.htm

  5. Jess said

    Vaille just used the word communist… ie that the education revolution is something you’d see in a communist country – if this is the wedge gawd help em!!!

  6. Eljenxo said

    Jonh Howard has completely wedged Labor by nailing down the orangutan vote. Appears that he totally misunderstood the context of “swinging voters” when he read the Crosby/Textor report……

    Also:
    ALP subliminal messaging campaign is launched

  7. Mr Denmore said

    I think they’ll start scaremongering about what ‘secret deals’ Labor has made with the Greens (free drugs in schools etc;).

  8. Jess said

    Howard’s support for workchoices got the biggest applause from the lacklustre audience… just shows how out of touch him and his supporters are – they truely beleive this rubbish and hate any sense of collectivism… sad really sad – Menzies would be rolling over in his grave!

  9. happy chap from Griffith said

    Aram @ 3

    I reckon there’s no chance they’ll pull the ‘gay wedge’ as this would certainly be a nail in Turnbull’s electoral coffin. The most recent poll puts him and Newhouse on 50-50. Not sure how the gay population is lining up but any attempt to pull a gay wedge would surely be a big help to Newhouse.

  10. Kirribilli Removals said

    I heard Vaile introduced while I was driving, and it sounded to me that he walked on with a soundtrack that was very similar to Aaron Copland’s ballet suite “Rodeo”. It was hard to hear, it may have been, or something very very similar.

    So, we are well and truly aping the cowboy theme music in this presidential style gabfest.

    (Maybe that should read ‘orangutanning’ instead of ‘aping’!)

    And the wedge? No, it’s a straight hostage threat from Howard: vote us back in or the orangutan gets decapitated by a very angry rodent!

  11. Guido said

    On a post done on October 14, Mumble wrote

    The second last week

    If there were bets going on it, I would put dosh on the government dropping something big and contentious – about “values”/people “not like us”, naturally – in the second final week of the campaign.

  12. George said

    Poss, your graph on Crikey “The Libs will catch Labor … in July 08″ is a corka – LOL :-)

  13. Alex McDonnel said

    I suspect the Muslim threat dog whistle will be sent out before it’s all over. Howard will want to stop as many votes as possible going to Pauline Hanson and her party.

  14. Socrates said

    I’m just listening to Howard’s speech and its hard to know which lie to demolish first, but regarding home ownership, here is a link to a Swedish report with some facts on OECD home ownership. See http://www.infra.kth.se/BYFA/publikationer/engelskaUppsatserOchRapporter/54.pdf

    Basically, Australia has declined from a leader in home ownership in the 1960s to be about mid-field now. We are not “great” on this statistic. In the last 10 years we have declined and been passed by Norway, Spain (!), UK and USA on home ownership. These measures don’t change the supply, they just keep locking the young into higher mortgages. The tax breaks will actually be very inflationary.

    And of course, if I understand what I heard on home ownership, it sounds like millionaire parents will be able to dodge (capital gains) tax by investing in their child’s home (something with a harbour view perhaps?). How will they stop such homes being transferred back to mum and dad in a country with no gift and inheritance duties?? This is an open invitation to tax avoidance.

    Cost of private school fees completely tax free??? A free polo pony for junior?

  15. Jess said

    The Lib strategies must think that their expanded version of Rudds education tax rebate will give them a bounce… but I’d be interested in Possum and others view on whether this approach will work given the CT analysis of playing clearly on Labor’s strength… is it too little too late as Labor is sure to say or will the handouts work again?!

  16. George said

    Well, Howard’s speech was a fizzer… 55/45 all the way to the 24th methinks.

  17. George said

    That music they’re playing while the right-wingers clap away sounds like something out of Dallas (the TV show). Frigen hell!

  18. Jess said

    What is with the Man from Snowy river style music!!! Terrible

  19. George said

    Oh, and finally a quick shot of Capt Smirk and wife – a whole 2 seconds!

  20. George said

    Somebody just yelled out “thanks for saving the orangutan! (I kid you not!!!) Oh the humanity!!!

  21. Jess said

    I am sure the GG will spin those annoucements like made but really is that it! The must have more up their sleaves… probably for after the Labor launch.

  22. HarryH said

    i was concentrating on demeanour of the ministers today.

    2 that really stood out.

    Mal Brough and Fran Bailey really looked beaten.

    I think you can write their seats off.

  23. Socrates said

    The public/private school wedge is obvious but easily dealt with. With no restriction on the amount of school fees tax deductable, or type of school, every kook fundamentalist school can claim this, as can someone getting a school skiing trip to the French Alps.

    Again, this speech flags measures that would be massively inflationary. John Howard, going for even more unsustainable growth in house prices! Generation X will love that.

  24. Possum Comitatus said

    George – that music had a bit of the old Dallas in it.

    Maybe they were hoping that next season starts with the return of Bobby (Menzies) and that the last little bit of history was all just a bad dream. :mrgreen:

    (Christ – I cant believe I remember that!)

  25. Jess said

    I agree HarryH Brough look particularly tired… but I think he will go down to the wire – he is probably having nigtmares about being deputy leader of the opposition or jumping to state politics!

  26. otiose said

    is there a problem with pollbludger??

  27. Meng said

    Is William’s site down again? Part of a blog wedge? “We will decide who blogs here and the circumstances under which they will blog …”

  28. Socrates said

    Also problems with Poll bludger.

    On this thread, there are so many classic robbing from the middle class (tax) /giving to the rich measures that it is a clear wedge. But it is not rich/poor, rather Rich/everyone else, young/old and homeowner/non-homeowner. The measures are so obviously inflationary that they should be easily dealt with.

  29. TurningWorm said

    The Young Libs must be spamming William’s site again.
    Democracy at work.

  30. Steve K said

    Yes, there does appear to be a problem with the Pollbludger site. Too much traffic?

  31. djm said

    My prediction: a “war” on drugs and/or crime. Howard made mention of the coalition being “zero tolerance” on drugs in his launch speech, and one of the TV ads to prop up a candidate in a Victorian marginal (Latrobe?) tried to paint Labor as “soft on crime”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this, e.g. in the form of some proposed draconian legislation to wedge Labor. On the other hand, it might not be too effective – Rudd would likely “me too” it and any protest vote would to to the Greens and back to Labor by preferences anyway.

  32. Greensborough Growler said

    Here’s a mixed message wedge courtesy of Andrew Landeryou.

    http://andrewlanderyou.blogspot.com/2007/11/ground-war-battle-for-deakin.html

  33. noone said

    i cant see crime working, most labor state governments are trigger happy on populist tough on crime measures so unless it combines tough on crime with some form of discrimination id bet atleast one state government has already done it, and likely gone further.

  34. middle man said

    He mention transitioning from a welfare state to an opportunity society, and then launched into a list of three welfare policies… WTF?

  35. Charles said

    Trouble with a wedges, those on the right side forget about it, those on the wrong never forgive. I would say about 5% of liberal voters are now on the wrong side of past wedges, and there aren’t any good wedges left to collect 5% to compensate. Past wedge losers and those that are particularly upset by past behavior are going to toss him out.

  36. Alex McDonnel said

    I watched part of Howard’s speech. He was not impressive, voice very flat. Crowd applause was a bit muted. A few stunned plover looks in the front rows. They’re gone for all money.

  37. Ringtail said

    Sorry guys, this is somewhat off-topic, but I really wonder how it came about that the two parties’ campaign launches came to be so close together. Specifically, I wonder how Labor’s launch ended up being after the Libs, which clearly gives Labor the advantage. Did they have some inside info from say the venue people and thus timed their launch just after the Libs’? Anyway, as far as the respective launches go, Labor would have the last word. Pretty savvy tactics, if it was indeed intentional.

  38. middle man said

    over on the DT blog they majority are claiming Howard has just performed his “me too” act. he can no longer use that as an attack anymore.

  39. dave said

    Well it all over for rodent now – including the music.

    Didn’t see one face at the launch that looked as if they would win.

    Speers tried talking up after but even his heart was not in it.

    Liked the line from kerry-ann walsh. “If the libs win from here, never pay another penny to any polling organisation again – (because they will have stuffed up big time on assessing this election)

  40. Socrates said

    Ringtail,
    To my knowledge it is normal tradition in the Westminister system that the government goes first (they have delayed the official campaign launch unusually late) and then the opposition responds. Given that this government has already used the powers of office to delay and then chose the election timing, spent $300m on taxpayer funded ads, and used treasurey (public expense) to cost their policies, there are clearly beenfits to encumancy, as Australian political history demonstrates. I think that any advantage from going second is minimal.

  41. PaulC said

    Anthony Mundine Burns John Howard in Platinum Ryder Video

    The openly political video for Anthony Mundine’s hip-hop single Platinum Ryder, filmed in the notorious Sydney area known as The Block, shows indigenous residents tearing up John Howard’s photograph and tossing it into a barrel of flames, a union jack flag meets the same fate.

    Mr Howard said while it was easy for people to take pot shots at the union jack, Australia had inherited many great traditions from the United Kingdom.

    http://www.letsconnect.com.au/anthony-mundine-burns-john-howard-r106.htm

    IT’S THE CHOC WEDGE!

  42. codger said

    PB & LP Poss…say it isn’t so

  43. BV said

    Howard appears to have wedged himself – the Coalition have spent months getting everyone used to the term “Me too-ism” and then on the big stage, with everyone watching, they me too-ed on education and childcare. BRILLIANCE!!!

  44. George said

    BV @ 43, the “self wedge” – LOL

  45. Ringtail said

    Ah, thanks Socrates. yeah, probably not much to be gained by ALP since they’ve already gained so much ground since 2004!

  46. Jess said

    The irony is that the Coalition have now squandered their advantage of going first by me tooing Labor’s polcies… if they had done something different they could have used it to slam Labor for me tooing… now it looks to me like they have given up and are simply trying to claw back a few softer Labor voters who can be bought off… but its questionable how many of those are left!

  47. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Howard was right on one thing. He has taken Australia from one type of society to something quite different – except its not an opportunity society but an OPPORTUNISTIC society led by the most opportunistic government in our history. The polls seem to be suggesting that people now want more than Howard’s empty cynical opportunism.

  48. HarryH said

    The Choc Wedge lol

    that was funny PaulC. well done

  49. HarryH said

    i think todayslightweight launch by the Libs opens the way to a great opportunity for Labor to make their Launch speech to be a Future Societal speech and not a pork speech.

    i think it is perfect timing for a generational change speech which focuses on the “fair go” and our future.

    here’s hoping.

    Rudd should revisit his maiden parliamentary leadership speech in his own mind on Tuesday night before he goes to bed.

  50. Kirribilli Removals said

    PB’s off the air and everyone is hyped ready flay the rodent! bad timing! Ha,ha…maniacal laugh!

  51. Lefty E said

    Good lord! Check the shameless me-tooism from Howard on Rudd’s home saver accounts, and the education rebates. Its a straight steal!

  52. Johnny B Gone said

    Look out for…Orangutans Overboard

  53. Socrates said

    Lefty,

    its far worse than a steal, because its made them open ended and open to abuse by the wealthy. Also, note there wasn’t a cost estimate is sight for many key promises. How much will they cost? Who pays? Will inflation go up higher? What does the Reserve Bank think? Do I hear 7% interest rates?

  54. Kirribilli Removals said

    Man of steel beocmes man of the forest (orang utan) in strange metamorphosis brought on by magic numbers delivered on paper from the forest, pulped from the trees and printed with strange markings.

    Whoo, spooky!

    Kind of reverse evolution, really.

  55. Observer said

    Help – Pollbludger was gone down – some one tell William! Quickly!!

    So Rattus Rattus will cause another Sydney house price boom, probably even before the election. Doesn’t this guy understand anything – was this his policy or someone elses.

  56. steve_e said

    The LIBS support Oran Utang (its a pity the Minister for the Environment supports companies that destroy their habitat) but so far the ALP has not porked up for the same apes. Is this a wedge?

    Housing affordability, saving to buy a house and educcation subsidies are no longer wedge options (just more of the me too).

    I expect that we will see another blast from past on wedge matters – racism. This time a little better organised than Andrews attack on Sudanese migrants. Pauline is always a good stalking horse and talk back radio are good for a whip around.

  57. Batman Centrist said

    One of course wonders whether someone will raise the nuclear issue – and for it to be an atomic wedge?

  58. Hemingway said

    Socrates,
    Good call. If you haven’t read Ross Gittins’ pertinent article today in the SMH shredding Team Howard’s claims for economic credibility, “Caught with Their Rates Down”, here it is. Enjoy!

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/caught-with-their-rates-down/2007/11/11/1194766509793.

  59. Pancho said

    I can’t believe that Howard did nothing today. I bet Labor can’t either. Nothing beyond anything that Labor have announced, and taking the lead on nothing. A half-arsed wedge attempt (but with dollar figures similar to Labor’s) with education rebates, but nothing new at all. Was this launch planned before the election and not revisisted? Who is steering this ship?

  60. The Libs are done, stick a fork in them. There was nothing in that launch to really grab people’s attention, as others have said their was a lot of me-too-ism in there and the ALP will crucify them for it.

    The capital gains tax promise about shared equity is one of the most galling, financially irresponsible policies I have ever heard. It is just an invitation for the very wealthy to game the tax system further, on top of which it can’t help but be extraordinarily inflationary. It’s so ridiculous that the first home savings account has a $1000pa limit on family contributions, but you can now put investment properties in your kids name for tax free capital gains.

  61. BV said

  62. Jess said

    It has begun already…

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22744693-29277,00.html

    Rudd will probably get a bounce before their launch!

  63. jassy said

    I don’t know but is do nothing at all for two weeks not a reasonable strategy based on the stagnant polling? Just shoot at whatever Labor does. Like a small target / minimise loss strategy?

    I don’t know but it is strange.

  64. Pancho said

    For Hemmingway: http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/caught-with-their-rates-down/2007/11/11/1194766509793.html

  65. Kirribilli Removals said

    yeah Socrates, they walked into it with eyes wide shut!

    When visiting family earlier in the year, I remember telling my dad to watch Stevens poke Howard in the eye if, as I’d quite expected, rates would be on the march.

    Well, if a total outsider like me saw this as a very strong possibility, why in god’s name did the Rodent pull his election after the Reserve’s meeting?

    Pure arrogance and hubris, and the feeling that he’d intimidated every public servant in the land and Steven’s would just follow suit.

    Oh, how deliciously wrong!

    Gotta love it!

  66. Alan H said

    Nahum 58 – We don’t need that sort of stuff on here. This is a psephology site, not one for ignorant bigots that think you can judge others by their appearance.

    Go away please.

    cheers,

    Alan H

  67. Jess said

    Look at this rubbish from Malcolm Farr

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/malcolmfarr/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/howard_launches_education_war/

    It a war now…. and such a suprise… when Rudd announced his rebate – Costello said that it didn’t cover fees and implied it should.

    Honestly the DT are so blatant in trying to talk up the supposed brilliance of the Liberal machine!

  68. onimod said

    Howard, Costello and Vaille’s speeches were some of the worst written speaches I’ve heard from people of their stature.
    I listened to them on the radio.
    Costello at least put some energy into it, though it sounded like he was lecturing year 10 somewhere.
    I don’t even think Costello and Vaille even made a mention of IR – I thought someone had left open the rear stage door and the elephant had walked out!
    Vaille spend minutes talking up biofuel…..to save 3c a litre at the pump!!!!
    By the time Howard had finished the audience was dead and he whimpered to the line – no sound bite there. Costello finished with something about ‘good government’. Huh? That’s why you’re behind in the polls stupid.
    If the ALP launch is as insipid, I’ll be really really disappointed.

  69. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Pancho – Its just dejavu as far as I can see. Howard never had an original policy idea in his life but has been able to hide the fact behind his opportunistic, populist rhetoric. He’s always pinched Labor’s ideas during election campaigns,served them up with a good dose of pork for the wealthy while claiming to be holier than thou. No doubt theyll be waiting to canabalise some more ideas from the Labor launch.

  70. Guido said

    Mee too ism? Don’t you read Malcolm Farr?

    THERE might not have been much ideological difference before when it came to Kevin Rudd and John Howard.

    But Howard made sure there is now with a surprise promise to make private school fees tax deductible.
    He detonated his policy weapon at the official Coalition launch, and guaranteed that education will become an ideological battleground for the remaining two weeks of the campaign.
    Howard also, with the help of Treasurer Peter Costello, rammed home the notion that whilst the economy is currently zipping along there were “storm clouds on the horizon”.
    The only clouds in prosperous Brisbane carried rain and hung over the cricketers at The Gabba, but Howard and Costello want us dreading an economic thunderstorm.
    They argue the untried Rudd team would leave us soaked.
    Howard spent a lot of money in his launch – the education rebate alone would cost more than $6 billion over four years.
    But at this time of the election cycle, in which many voters start thinking about their ballots for the first time, money and ideological adventures are no object.

  71. Peter Fuller said

    I don’t think that the PM was confident that the RBA wouldn’t act, as Gittins asserts, rather that he hoped they wouldn’t; just as he hoped that the CPI wouldn’t be bad enough to force their hand. I suspect that the polls throughout the period June-September were so bad that he figured the prospective risk of the November RBA meeting was less than the certainty of annihilation if he’d opted for an election any time earlier. Like much that he’s tried this year, it’s all gone a***-up, but that’s just karma after the run of luck he’s enjoyed since late 1995.

  72. Socrates said

    Too much tripe to cover it all but thanks for the reminder about biofuels onimod. Anyone who runs the numbers knows it is a crock. If Australia converted every square inch of crops to biofuels we might barely be self sufficient, whereas we now export 80% of crop production. In practice, this is impossible because only high sugar content crops are viable. The IEA report of July 2007 rated the long term potential of biofuels as 6 to 8% of supply. Its just a way to subsidise farmers.

  73. StanS said

    Poll bludger looks like its back up, see you all there!

  74. Kirribilli Removals said

    So now education is a battle ground? Look out comrades, you’re about to see the ugliest bit of the ideological gnome yet!

    Not content to just see more than adequate public subsidy of the already well heeled, let’s now make the divide enormous and pretend that for the wealthy, education is really just a cost of being in the business of well, a liberal voter!

    So now the poor get to subsidize the rich while no doubt their ‘public’ under funded schools can just rot into the ground. Education is a ‘business expense’ when you’re headed for medicine or law, but for those who just scrape by in run down public schools it’s an after tax drag on the household budget to get a few excursions or extra activites paid for.

    This is disgusting and desperate stuff from a repulsive, elitist little gnome.

    Goodbye Johnny Rotten, it was so unpleasant having you squatting in the nations pysche all these years, but now it’s just days to go.

    Bring it on!

  75. Ronin said

    I just read the policy announcement by John Howard on SMH. Let’s see..

    * Child care rebate turn into upfront cash bonus, also pledge $1mil to local government to increase childcare places. I doubt these will have any serious effects on the voters. The big winner will be seller of LCD TV.
    * Home saving account for your kids – a much dumber idea compare to the ALP line because it’s limited to contribution of $1000 per year tax free. How much is a house again?
    * 500 mil for “common community structures” like libraries/community hall/sports ground. I believe the PM misunderstood : libraries are not considered “infrastructures” anymore in this day and age.
    * School fee rebate – $400 for primary, $800 for secondary. That’s a ‘me-too’ ism.
    * $4000 for Uni students going from the bush going to the cities.

    None of them are vote winners.

    The school fee rebate have no cap like the ALP, making it a vote loser. Small family will view it as being unfair that big families will received much more than they have. It’s not about “what you get”, it’s about “what you get compare to next door”. The Liberal Party is wedging the small family vs the big family, and there are more of the former than later.

    The $1000 home saving account only highlights the policy problem in the Liberal party. It’ll take 20 years to save up enough for a deposit tax free under this scheme. Anyone saving for a home will do the maths, and realize the Liberals don’t have a clue as to what a home cost these days.

    When you’re buying votes, it’s important to make the message simple so voters know exactly what is being offered, along with a dollar amount. This is a rather dismal attempt.

  76. Ian said

    re: 65.

    It just proves, yet again, that the Rodent and Smirky know nothing about economics. They’ve been lucky for several years and survived on the coattails of labour’s reforms and the world economy. But when that runs out, they’re left with nothing but unsound ideology.

    Good riddance to them.

  77. Clarence the Clocker said

    I really think the libs gave up on winning a month ago and for them this campaign is all about 2010. Minimising their losses by making irresponsible promises and luring Labor to match with promises they will be forced to back out of to stop the economy going into an interest rate driven tailspin.
    They will have a ready made campaign for 2010 saying they would have keep their promises and kept interest rates ‘lower than under Labor’.

  78. Ringtail said

    Hmmm, no more wedges left, so the Coalition’s launch becomes yet another occasion to shore up its existing voter base and hope for a narrow loss instead of annihilation? Otherwise, policies that pander to the rich don’t make much sense at this stage.

  79. Hemingway said

    Pancho @ 64, many thanks for your help with the link to Ross Gittins article.

  80. HarryH said

    Clarence,
    i’ve been thinking that for a while too, but history and reality point to the Libs being unelectable in 2010.

    they will be a rabble.

    and climate change will be even more important than now.

  81. Dinsdale Piranha said

    According to Michelle Grattan, a Liberal insider said Howard had a plan for education that would “blow Rudd out of the water.” Wait for it….

    800 bucks for school fees. Wow, Rudd must be a blubbering wreck after such grandeur. Especially since the Libs were careful not to telegraph their intentions by making off the record remarks to the Canberra press gall….bugger.

  82. Kirribilli Removals said

    DP, this was Malcolm Farr’s take:

    “But Howard made sure there is now with a surprise promise to make private school fees tax deductible. ”

    This is literally class warfare! And they’ve got the gall to call the left ‘haters’!

    Oh give me a break! Still, only 12 more days to go and the last 11 years will seem like a very horrible nightmare.

  83. SirEggo said

    Pollbludger’s been on and off all day

    Anyone heard what the problem is?

  84. jassy said

    Clarence@77 – problem for the Libs is everyone will remember the ME TOO, they wont be able to run a ‘how rubbish were Labor’ campaign in 2010 because the come back is obvious they would have been just the same, but a bit nastier workchoices wise, you remember workchoices don’t you? Climate change remember Howard’s denial.

    If the me too stuff is a plan to make 2010 better it is a stupid plan.

  85. Socrates said

    Given the comments on 2010, perhaps these should be the campaign slogans:

    Labor – Kevin07
    Liberal – Kevin11 – because they are giving him enough of a majority to win again in 2010!

  86. Adam said

    why do we assume all the wedges must come from rattus? ;^)

    we here should also consider the opposite of the wedge – the hug. when a politician gets in close and minimises difference for electoral gain. mr rudd, i’m looking at you, son. can anyone here predict any more possible rudd-hugs? or is he all loved out?

    btw prepare for a “massive foreign debt problem” coming up front and centre in the first three months of the Labor administration, enabling a correspondingly massive re-positioning of policy for the new Government… and a subsequent serious credibility blow to the libs. all bets will be off regarding approach then. kenneth davidson would be pleased after all these years…

    i also expect that the scenario at 8 in the election tips thread will play out regarding shredders and files of confidential documents. damn it, i’ll stick my neck out and say that i expect a few ministers to face the likelihood of doing time after the 24th. the recent vasta etc experience will be chicken-feed.

  87. Clarence the Clocker said

    Jassy@84, electors have very short memories for anything other than a short sound bite, try explaining the impacts of Keatings economic reforms ( I did pay 17% but in relative terms I’m paying a lot more now).
    It’s also a big ask to have a proper critique of rodents home deposit scheme in an election campaign. I did the numbers and it goes like this:
    assume 20% deposit on 70% of a median Sydney house price (a modest dwelling), assume 5% annual increase in house prices(now that is being conservative)and 6% interest on your savings account and you need to put away $5500 per year for 20 years to get your 25 year old ingrate out of the house.
    You’ll probably go to an early grave doing the overtime to make the payments and your kids will get the lot anyway.
    Better to make sure your kids get a good education and they can make their own way in whatever the world is like in 20 years time.

  88. Amaranthus said

    My thoughts from watching snippets of the launch and quick cuts to the crowd reaction:

    Is there any sight more delightful than the spasmodic death throes of a long-incumbent conservative government?

    Enjoy the next 11 days, for all the joyous sights it will deliver!

  89. Rod said

    Well, perhaps the story on tonight’s 7.30 Report about the pit toilet built to support the “Intervention” smack dab in the middle of an Arnhem Land sacred site might be the harbinger of things to come over the next couple of weeks?

    What next? I reckon that chairlift proposal for Uluru will get another look in. Or open cut mining of Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s), perhaps? Maybe a ban on headscarves and mosque building? Or perhaps a public burning of the Koran outside Parliament House? Stopping Malaysian and Indonesian shipping from entering Sydney Harbour, perhaps?

    If I was black or Muslim in Oz I’d certainly be worried about what sort of stuff Howard, Andrews, Ruddock and Brough can dream up in the next few days!

  90. Peachy said

    As i reported in a comment a couple of weeks ago – at the beginning of the campaign when Howard announced his “Aboriginal Reconciliation”, I was browsing skynews active and they had a story in there that Kevin Andrews was about to announce the banning of Muslim Headscarves in airports for “security reasons”. Never got announced. Wonder if they are holding it back for the last week……

    i think they might try it if they are really desperate, but they run the risk of looking REALLY desperate by doing it. Could backfire on them in a big way.

  91. Sheep said

    Class warfare wedge or firewall? There may have been a few blue ribbon seats constituents ringing their accountants and Howard knows he will never have to pay for it.

  92. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    89 Rod, I reckon they want to wedge Labour with ‘niceness’ when it come to Blackfellas, so I don’t reckon they play the oldest race card of all and bring out negatives in this narrative space. On the other hand you are on the money with the headscarf business, I’m planning to wear one to the polling booth to see if I get the lemonade and sarz. Such a soft touch to pick on the Muslim population, mongrel act in most part (Islamo-facists aside). Salaam Alukum, Inshalah

  93. Martin said

    no wedges folks, name a public servant who wants to go to jail?? it’s the economy stupid…and after wearing out some leather in Moreton today, I reckon the Coalition scare campaign is working well enough.

    the rodent’s still toast, but this will be closer than the triumphalists think, I suspect, and reckon Kevin 07 will snare circa 83-87 seats

  94. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    Probably right Martin @ 93, but a result in the mid 80s (where I too reckon it will end up) is still massive and as such we can forgive a little bit of na nah na na nah, can’t we?

  95. Martin said

    always a worry when people tell you they’d “love to vote Labor, but…”

    however, the reality is Kevin is way too far ahead to be caught – but the ALP is a messy beast, so the finish line can’t come too soon i reckon

    Swan will deserve an enormous share of the credit once the race is won…and if, after signing up to those ridiculous tax cuts, he aint serious about his “razor gang”, he’ll pretty soon bloody well have to be.

    the rodent’s deliberately served him up an inflation time bomb, and from now on it’s Wayne’s problem – and his alone – do defuse it…

  96. Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel XI said

    What in particualr about Swan do you find pat-on-the back-worthy Martin? (I thought he was v good againt the Smirk by the way)

  97. Martin said

    the fact he’s managed to silence the economic vandals we both know exist in the ALP…

  98. Martin said

    i will admit, though, there is one seat where the wedge might work: Longman…

    unbelievably appalling to think that by villifying people thousands of miles away in the NT, Mal Brough will actually pick up votes in Morayfield….as I say, applalling – but will most likely happen

  99. Enemy Combatant said

    Word round the traps says The Bludger’s getting sit-down-money.

  100. Alan,

    the point of my late night post on Angus Howard, (though it may have been poorly articulated) was that Howard is pulling out all straps. Ship Howard is sinking, All Howard’s on deck, even one who hasn’t yet turned 1. (But it’s been moderated now so there)

    But thanks for the abuse,

    An ignorant bigot would judge someone hastily, and Alan, perhaps you should take some of your own advice.

  101. jasmine_Anadyr said

    Martin you seem not to have noticed the whole economic reform of the Keating judgement or you are stuck in a bad liberal add, what you say and imply has no real connection to the modern ALP. And the inflation thing isn’t a bomb – it is the inevitable result of 11 years of neglect of infrastructure and training something we were saying on Bryan’s site and pollbludger before Rudd and Swan were saying it. So there is no bomb to defuse, no magic cure, and two weeks into the new government when you start to blame swan for it, it will be silly. In fact most of the infrastructure and education neglected so long by the Howard Government will probably take 3 years to have a real impact. But Rudd & Swan will say, and will be more or less right to say, ‘Howard made the mess, and if re-elected would have made it even worse’; I don’t think there is much milage in the labor bad with the economy lie.

  102. amused said

    The best possible thing Swann could do after the election is open up the account books and announce that due to all the money owing, and all those foreign mortgage holders out there, poised to swoop on virtuous, generous, sunny and happy Oz, the tax cuts will have to be canned, and the money paid into Super, as a downpayment on tomorrow, today.

    It is simply incredible that so much money can be thrown around, simply on the basis that it is ‘there’. So much for fiscal rectitude. I dread to think what Rudd will do, and I hope he and Swann spend the available airtime of the launch, laying out the real risks this economy faces, as opposed to the bullsh@t spun by Crosby/Textor.

  103. Peachy said

    Amused @ #102

    The reality is that whichever side wins will have to get their ridiculous tax cuts and spending through the senate, which will almost certainly be controlled by the minor parties after July 2008. If the coalition wins they might force their changes through before then, or they might choose to wait, then hand over to Costello (or whoever), and then claim that the senate blocked their “reforms”.

    If Labor wins they will not have a hope of getting things through the senate until July, at which time the greens or whoever has the balance will probably rein in the spending.

    So really either party at this stage can promise the earth to get elected, whether they will deliver it is another thing altogether.

  104. Bilko said

    the man of steel becomes the man of steal re ideas

  105. Meng said

    Howard will wedge on Chinese food and culture, now that a “dim sim” has killed a woman. (Yes, her death was tragic. No, my joke is not that funny. Thank you!)

  106. kiwipundit said

    Has anyone had a look at the individual seat betting on Portlandbet?

    Well Labor are now favourites in 79 seats, the Coalition are now down to 69 and 2 seats are safely Independent. That’s an 8-seat majority (and rising) for Labor. Of course, Simon Jackman will have all the details from Portlandbet, Centrebet and Sportingbet up on his site very soon. However, Bennelong still has the Rodent as the favourite to win. Still there’s another 11 days to go so anything can happen.

    Anyway, this is in sharp contrast to the Portlandbet individual seat betting markets when they first opened in early July. Then (surprisingly) the Coalition were predicted to have a 6-seat majority, being favourites in 78 seats, Labor in 70 seats and there were the 2 Independents.

    Speaking of young Angus Howard, who was mentioned a few posts back, he’ll be getting plenty of attention from his maternal grandparents very soon. I bet you that poor boy’s first words won’t be “mama” or “dada” but “pork” or “wedge”. When Angus gets a bit older I’m sure the Rodent will have his grandson dog-whistling like a pro. ;-)

  107. Triffid said

    I’m not sure whether others also read the rumour on Crikey today about Costello looking to release a policy on the reduction of capital gains tax to 1/4 for assets held over 5 years.

    I’m not sure what others think, but I think we need to move away from encouraging speculative investment which doesn’t result in the creation of new ventures.

    Most of the speculative share trading is simply shifting money between “winners” – those who make a profit & “losers” – those who don’t.

    It does nothing to contribute to more innvative, efficient & productive businesses.

  108. Paul said

    My take on tomorrow’s launch by Rudd is about HECS fees, university infrastructure, and teachers salaries.

    Two things point to this. Rudd has said “I want to be known as the Education Prime Minister”, and if you recall the “chapters” analogy that he used when releasing different aspects of his education policy throughout the year. Thus something about universities is the last chapter in the book

  109. Justin said

    #75: “The $1000 home saving account only highlights the policy problem in the Liberal party. It’ll take 20 years to save up enough for a deposit tax free under this scheme. Anyone saving for a home will do the maths, and realize the Liberals don’t have a clue as to what a home cost these days.”

    …I was under the impression that most first homebuyers were at least 20 years of age.

  110. nobexthanks said

    75k 105k diaspora continued…ok for wcs’s butbutbutbarry…
    Nightie Crotch moment # whatever
    ‘What you do is announce them, & then, if you are elected, (wait for it) you sit down & work out a set of rules’
    Guess who?
    on sky…wine in keyboard, again…
    Father of the Nation on autopilot…
    PB flashed again! Gamzeorn. Still.

  111. KC said

    Libs latest tactic is to put out bull press release attacking labor policies as flawed, as with Coonan on labors broadband claiming the maps are deficient.

    Doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, can always be explained away after the election as a mistake that you sincereley apologise for.

    Point is to get the scare and lies out there into the voters minds.

    Another one is Tollner using uniformed police in his campaign to say labor is soft on crime in the NT. Why don’t they do an ad in Vic with Paul Mullet who applied to be a liberal candidate?

  112. MonkeyMan said

    Rodentomics strikes again!!!

    I have had enough of this rubbish

    Education Policy – give a non means tested benefit of $800 to anyone to offset the tuition fees at Geelong Grammar, Brisbane Boys Grammar and other such venerable homes of deep thinking.

    Childcare – the more you earn, the cheaper it gets. Magic thought from a bloke who thinks the place of a women is at home.

    Housing Affordability – give a tax break to parents and grandparents to subsidise their kids. $1000 a year for over 18s? How much do these idiots think it costs for a home?

    Rich kids get a deposit for a home and their parents get a CGT free punt.

    Poor kids get nothing – 90% of parents dont have $1000 per annum spare to get their child set in a home at 20. But th lucky 10% are set.

    Poor kids, if they are smart, still get the gift of a $40,000 HECS bill for their effort.

    Toss these idiots out – they have lost any grip on reality. Economic reform?

    Why not subsidise Bentleys for ‘aspirational’ voters?

    Anyone who pays tax should feel sick at the thought of a new Rodent/Smirk Government.

    And before anyone plays the “UNION” card – remember that Labor, under Mr Keating, dismantled centralised bargaining. A concept that cannot be forgotten like microeconomic reform – but has been sorely lacking from these fools.

    Good riddance Rodent…

  113. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    Now now MonkeyMan, that’s the politics of envy ya know..

  114. Justin said

    You mean that the people who pay the most tax might get some of it back for their children’s education? How scandalous!

  115. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    see what I mean :)

  116. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    moooOoOoO bring back pollbludger! I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms!

  117. Rod said

    The public school / private school wedge will probably work to some extent (though quite a few will be sceptical about the absence of any means test, and many in the marginals will also realise that for most people there is very little difference once they actually do the sums) but I hope Rudd sticks to his guns. It is time to shift expenditure of this kind from individual tax breaks to decent investment in educational infrastructure.

  118. tooweird said

    One thing the MSM is missing is that you have to spend $2,000 to get the full $800 back for education costs. Easy if you’re paying private school fees – but $2,000 per kid per year is actually a lot if you’re on $13 an hour and you’ve got a few kids at a public school. At very least it would be a messy shoe box full of receipts.

  119. Mapik said

    Maybe the next tranche of Serf Choices we wont be told about before the election will be reducing the minimum working age to 6 to allow the kiddies to save the money for their own house by the time they reach their 30′s. Integrated policy!

  120. dkindon said

    ANAO wedges Government! Latest ANAO Report released today on Regional Partnerships Programme criticises Govet for baised administration of the scheme towards coalition marginla seats – sometimes giving grants before any application was received! [URL]http://www.anao.gov.au/download.cfm?item_id=40BC1C6C1560A6E8AAA43AAB96708E61&binary_id=40CC2B811560A6E8AABD1888AE16D9D3[/URL]

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